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Make hosting your next get together a breeze with this hearty beef and bean chili bar!
As the weather becomes more fall-like, like many others, I find myself cooking more comfort food. I also crave more outdoor time. Perhaps this is because I know that once fall ends and winter sets in, outdoor time will be relegated to running to the car and getting in quickly.
We like to have family time around the fire. For my Mother’s Day gift a few years ago, my thoughtful son, Thomas, built a fire pit. While we don’t get to enjoy nights around the fire as often as we’d like due to conflicting work schedules, when the time presents itself, we take full advantage of it!
While just roasting marshmallows is sometimes what we want to do, most times we like to have a big meal to enjoy.
One of our favorite meals is a Hearty Beef & Bean Chili Bar.
We all like our chili served a little differently. Whether it’s over a baked potato, with a side of cornbread, in a bowl of corn chips, topping a hot dog, or as a taco salad, chili is always a hit with my gang!
While shopping for our most recent Chili Bar at Walmart, I came across the most convenient tomato paste pouches! These Hunt’s Recipe Ready Pre-measure 2TBS Paste Pouches are PERFECT! There’s no can to open. There’s also no leftover paste to store, thus the paste is fresh each time you use it. (I also use these handy paste pouches when I make beef stew or other beef dishes to add a bit of tomato flavor, without watering down the dish!)
Everyone has a secret recipe for chili. My secret is salsa and Hunt’s tomato paste. I add spices and seasonings, but the bulk of the flavor comes from salsa. The tomato paste thickens the chili so that I don’t have to cook it for hours to thicken it up. We prefer a less cooked chili than one that has cooked for hours, to preserve a fresher taste.
For our most recent Chili Bar, I cooked the chili, cornbread, and baked potatoes in the house. When the fire was ready, we carried all of the foods outside to the fire pit area. To keep the chili, cornbread, and baked potatoes warm, they were placed over the fire. The rest of the Chili Bar offerings were on a table away from the fire, but close enough to fill your plate!
The Chili Bar was filled with an assortment of items. To serve the chili over, we included corn chips, nacho cheese chips, tortilla chips, hot dogs & buns. To top the chili, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, shredded cheese, sour cream, bacon, avocado, lime, salsa (both chunky and smooth!), and white queso dip were available. Of course, we included ketchup and mustard for the person who wanted a roasted hot dog without chili!
Treat your family and yourself (!) to an easy-to-please-everyone meal with a chili bar!
- 1- 105 oz can tomato sauce
- 1- 15 oz can red kidney beans
- 1- 15 oz can black beans
- 1- 15 oz can red beans
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1- 2 TB pouch tomato paste
- 1 cup salsa (your choice for heat level, I use medium)
- 2 TB chili powder
- 1 TB garlic powder
- 1 TB onion powder
- 2 ts cumin
- Brown ground beef.
- Add in all other ingredients, stir to combine.
- Cook over low heat for 90 minutes or so.
- Serve and enjoy!
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